Innovation and Inheritance — The Artistic Journey of Old Renovation by Designer Wu Ziqin

Innovation and Inheritance -- The Artistic Journey of Old Renovation by Designer Wu Ziqin
Photo Credited to: Wu Ziqin

Wu Ziqin, a designer who skillfully integrates traditional historical charm with modern design aesthetics, is rewriting the history of architectural design. His design philosophy not only respects the traditional values of historical buildings but also ingeniously combines them with modern lifestyles and aesthetic perspectives, creating an artistic space where tradition and modernity coexist harmoniously.

As one of China’s first undergraduates in interior and furniture design, Wu Ziqin’s career in design started on an extraordinary note. He displayed outstanding talent during his university years, earning the honor of an excellent graduate and a third prize in an English speech competition. These early achievements foreshadowed his future brilliance in the design field. Since graduating, Wu has been engaged in design-related work, accumulating over 20 years of experience in environmental space design. In his career, he has led over 200 domestic and international projects, many of which have been highly acclaimed masterpieces.

Wu Ziqin’s design philosophy emphasizes respecting and uncovering the traditional value of historical buildings and integrating them with modern lifestyles and aesthetics. Collaborations with architects from various countries and cultural backgrounds, especially a deep collaboration with a New York architect focusing on heritage restoration, marked a turning point in his career. Their joint involvement in the “Reimagining Brooklyn Bridge” project was not just a design competition but a profound exploration of the interweaving of history and modernity. Wu realized that renovating old buildings, which are witnesses of different eras, is more challenging and meaningful than constructing new ones, as evidenced by the transformation of the Louvre in Paris. This philosophy was fully embodied in the renovation of the Kaiping Diaolou in his hometown, a World Heritage site, sparking his interest in ancient buildings and deepening his integration of historical culture into his designs. His greatest challenge in these projects was how to introduce modern design elements while preserving historical traces. His solution was creatively transforming spaces, for instance, by introducing floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights to improve lighting and ventilation, while cleverly maintaining the original features of the buildings to respect and highlight their historical value.

Innovation and Inheritance -- The Artistic Journey of Old Renovation by Designer Wu Ziqin
Photo Credited to: Wu Ziqin

Starting in 2007, Wu’s involvement in the Beishan Village old town transformation project in Zhuhai was a significant milestone in his career. The goal for Wu and his team was to transform Beishan Village into a vibrant, diverse, international cultural and creative community. To gather inspiration and experience, they visited several renowned old building renovation projects in Europe, including the Louvre in Paris, the New Museum in Berlin, and the Prada Foundation in Milan. These visits provided a wealth of design ideas and innovative directions. After a decade of relentless effort, their team successfully turned the Beishan International Cultural and Creative Community in Zhuhai into a cultural and creative landmark of the Greater Bay Area. It not only won widespread love from local villagers and tourists, especially among young people, but also injected new innovative and artistic values into the local design and cultural and creative fields. This project enhanced the city’s image and attractiveness, significantly contributing to economic growth and social development, and became a model demonstrating the immense potential of combining cultural heritage with modern creativity.

Wu Ziqin’s commitment to environmentally friendly design is evident in many of his projects, especially in a 2013 project using old shipping containers for construction. This innovative recycling approach not only reduced resource consumption but also opened new possibilities for architectural design. This concept was perfectly implemented in projects like the Beijing Normal University Affiliated Foreign Language School Archery Hall and the Shili Lianjiang Resort. These projects earned recognition in the Eco-Friendly Architectural Design Awards.

In 2015, Wu Ziqin took an important step by founding Lq & ArchiStudio in Zhuhai, serving as the legal representative and chief design director. This company brings together architects and interior designers with an international perspective, covering various fields like architecture, interior, and furniture design, with projects both domestically and abroad. Under his leadership, the company focused on ancient building renewal and old modification projects, with the successful transformation of the Beishan International Cultural and Creative Community in Zhuhai being a prime example.

Wu Ziqin’s career is not only a journey of exploring traditional and modern aesthetics but also full of moments of recognition and honor both domestically and internationally. His design projects span across Asia, each reflecting his attention to detail and relentless pursuit of innovation. His design for Rude Bar in Zhuhai won the Silver Award at the 2008 Asia Pacific Interior Design Biennale Awards, a significant recognition of his early design style. His designs for Nuoc Restaurant in Singapore and JWD Art Space in Bangkok also showcased his design strength on the international stage. Back in China, his design for the Beijing Normal University Affiliated Foreign Language School Archery Hall won an Excellence Award in the KUR-World Cup Eco-Friendly Architectural Design Awards, reaffirming his expertise in sustainable design. Projects like the Beishan Chengchuan Art Museum, Farm Yeah Organic Restaurant, G-Flower Art Space, c’est si bon Mainland Flagship Store, and Ben Space not only enriched Zhuhai’s cultural landscape but also enhanced the city’s artistic atmosphere. Particularly, Ben Space won the Gold Award at the 2023 MUSE Design Awards, marking another highlight in Wu’s career.

Innovation and Inheritance -- The Artistic Journey of Old Renovation by Designer Wu Ziqin
Photo Credited to: Wu Ziqin
Innovation and Inheritance -- The Artistic Journey of Old Renovation by Designer Wu Ziqin
Photo Credited to: Wu Ziqin

Beyond specific design projects, Wu Ziqin’s achievements in the professional field are also noteworthy. He is a professional member of the China Institute of Interior Design-ASC, a senior interior designer of the China Interior Decoration Association, and serves as the vice-chairman of the Zhuhai Graphic Design Association. His design philosophy and works have even graced the cover of France’s “Design Converge” magazine, demonstrating his significant status in the international design field. Additionally, he was invited to be an international judge for the 2024 MUSE Design Awards and has been featured in individual interviews in magazines like “Great Bay Express”, “TOP” and “Zhuhai”.

In Wu Ziqin’s design journey, he pursues relentless innovation, deep environmental concern, and respect for traditional values. His works not only beautify environments but also inspire new thoughts on history and modern aesthetics, and environmental concepts, bringing unprecedented profound impacts to the design field.

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